M.ercedes drivers whose diesel uses a so-called “thermal window” are not entitled to compensation. The Federal Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that this device for the motor control would not be immoral and that no claims for damages could be made.
“We welcome the decision of the BGH. It is the guiding principle for thousands of legal proceedings in Germany, ”commented a Daimler spokesman on the verdict immediately after it was announced. The decision does not come as a surprise, because the Federal Court of Justice publicly heard two weeks ago about the case, which comes from the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz. The plaintiff had demanded that Daimler take back his car – a Mercedes C-Class that he had bought in 2012 for 35,000 euros – and reimburse him for the purchase price minus compensation for the kilometers driven. Even during the hearing at the end of June, Senate Chairman Stephan Seiters pointed out that there is an important difference to VW, where the highest court recognized fraud. While Volkswagen used software in the EA 189 engine that intentionally made a difference between normal operation and the test situation, this is not the case with Daimler, according to the BGH: in a Mercedes, the technology always works the same, whether on the road or on the Test bench.
Case not yet finalized
Due to various allegations in connection with exhaust gas cleaning in diesel cars, Daimler had to start a total of five product recalls for more than 250,000 cars. The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) did not issue a recall order for the car in this case. The vehicle type is also not part of the so-called model declaratory action brought by the consumer advice centers, which was announced a few days ago.
The case now being negotiated has not yet been finally concluded with the BGH ruling. The plaintiff had accused Daimler of using a number of other inadmissible devices to manipulate exhaust gases, including via the coolant system. The Higher Regional Court of Koblenz did not investigate this specific allegation. That must now be made up for.